SC to hear plea for SIT probe into pay-offs by two corporate entities

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court is likely to hear on Friday a PIL by NGO Common Cause seeking SIT investigation into alleged pay-offs by two corporate entities to several politicians and public functionaries purportedly for advancing their business interests.

The bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice S.Y. Chandrachud and Justice L. Nageswara Rao said the matter would be listed on Friday after senior counsel Shanti Bhushan mentioned the matter for an early hearing.

Common Cause, seeking the court’s intervention, described the matter as “extremely serious” where the “actionable evidence gathered in the raids on …. (two corporate entities) … concerning corruption and bribing of important public functionaries was given a quiet burial by the Income Tax Department and the CBI”.

In the case of one corporate entity, the Central Bureau of Investigation had conducted raids on October 15, 2013 and in the case of the second corporate entity, the Income Tax Department had carried out raids on November 22, 2014.

Seeking investigation by SIT into the alleged role of present Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) into the entire matter, the NGO urged the apex court to direct the CBI, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, and the CVC to produce the records and the seized material recovered in the raids on the two corporate entities.

The petitioner also sought direction to the CBI, CBDT and the CVC not to return the seized documents to the business groups concerned.

Besides this, Common Cause has sought thorough investigation into the evidence gathered and the role played by incumbent CVC K.V. Chowdary “in the apparent miscarriage of investigation”.

The NGO had earlier this year moved the top court seeking the quashing of the appointment of Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner T.M. Bhasin contending that their appointment was allegedly in breach of the principle of “institutional integrity”.